Healthcare professionals provide a great service to the citizens of Maryland and D.C. However, this does not mean that healthcare providers are perfect. Sometimes physicians or other healthcare providers harm patients through negligence. This is defined as medical malpractice, and unfortunately, it happens on a regular basis.
Read on to learn more about the elements of medical malpractice lawsuits, and if you believe that you were the victim of medical malpractice, call the experienced medical malpractice lawyers at Cardaro & Peek for help.
For any tort action, the defendant (person(s)/corporation(s)) at fault must have had a duty to the injured party. Think about a lifeguard at a water park vs. a random person at the water park. A lifeguard who sees someone drowning, because of their job/position, has a duty to help that person. A random individual at the water park does not have that duty (even though it may be the right thing to do).
In the medical malpractice context, this is referred to as a “Doctor-Patient Relationship.” In most cases, proving a doctor-patient relationship is simple. A patient establishes a relationship with a doctor or medical professional when they visit the doctor for an examination and agrees to receive treatment or care. Examples of medical professionals who can be held liable for malpractice include doctors, nurses, health care technicians, surgeons, dentists, and physician assistants.
Breach of Duty (aka Negligence)
Breach is just like it sounds. Think about the lifeguard example above. If a lifeguard sees someone drowning and does not do anything, that is likely a breach of the lifeguard’s duty. It is a breach because a reasonable lifeguard would have helped the drowning swimmer.
Similarly, medical negligence occurs when the medical professional deviates from what a reasonable medical professional would have done in a similar situation. Because medicine is very specialized, whether the medical professional “deviated from the standard of care” is a question that can only be answered by an expert from that medical professional’s field who is competent to state what the standard of care in their profession is under the circumstances presented in the case.
Negligence is often nuanced in medical malpractice cases, and thus patients should seek experienced counsel to assist them with their case. The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek has medical personnel on staff to assist them with cases, as well as access to nationally recognized physicians and other experts.
Causation (Negligence Led to the Injury)
Proving that the healthcare provider was negligent is not all that is required to win a medical malpractice case. A plaintiff must also show that the negligence was the cause of the injury they experienced. Like a deviation from the standard of care, this must be proven by medical experts competent to testify how a certain injury was caused, and whether the said injury would have occurred absent the negligence of the medical professional. Sometimes different experts are needed to prove causation, due to the specific nature of the situation. For example, if a nurse gives the wrong medication and the patient suffers brain damage, you will need a nursing expert for the standard of care, but another expert (such as a neurologist) for causation. This is all the more reason to hire experienced counsel, who will know the right experts to prove your case.
Damages Were Suffered
Lastly, the patient must prove that he or she suffered damages as a direct result of the injuries caused by the doctor’s neglect. Damages include mental anguish, medical bills, lost wages (past and future), physical pain, and much more.
Contact The Law Offices of Cardaro & Peek, LLC Today
Do you believe that you or your loved one has suffered as a result of medical malpractice or medical neglect? You need to talk to an experienced team of local lawyers today.
The lawyers at Cardaro & Peek, LLC have the experience and resources necessary to investigate and litigate all types of medical claims throughout Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Cardaro & Peek, LLC has medical personnel on staff and has access to nationally recognized, board-certified physicians and other experts, to assist in the investigation, analysis, and prosecution of all types of medical malpractice claims. If you or a loved one have experienced malpractice, give us a call at 410-752-6166. Please visit our website www.cardarolaw.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for more information.